9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ahn-wee, ahn-wee; French ahn-nwee] /ɑnˈwi, ˈɑn wi; French ɑ̃ˈnwi/
a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from satiety or lack of interest; boredom:
The endless lecture produced an unbearable ennui.
Origin of ennui
1660-70; < French: boredom; Old French enui displeasure; see annoy
listlessness, tedium, lassitude, languor. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ennui
  • Sometimes a change of scene isn't enough to ease urban ennui.
  • And nothing kills ennui dead better than the Pixies.
  • There is anger in some quarters, ennui in others.
  • The ennui induced by persistent solicitations to join new social networks.
  • Even those few who have some redeeming qualities can not save themselves from an all-pervading gloom of ennui.
  • And for all its cool ennui, the band's sly neo-retro garage rock radiates surprising warmth and romance.
  • Gossip, like ennui, is born of idleness.
  • He was consumed with ennui.
  • He's very social and made friends, but it was like eternal ennui had set in.
  • True philosophy raises us above grandeur, but nothing can raise us above the ennui which it causes.
British Dictionary definitions for ennui


/ˈɒnwiː; French ɑ̃nɥi/
a feeling of listlessness and general dissatisfaction resulting from lack of activity or excitement
Word Origin
C18: from French: apathy, from Old French enui annoyance, vexation; see annoy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for ennui

1660s as a French word in English; nativized by 1758; from French ennui, from Old French enui "annoyance" (13c.), back-formation from enuier (see annoy). Hence ennuyé "afflicted with ennui;" ennuyée a woman so afflicted.

So far as frequency of use is concerned, the word might be regarded as fully naturalized; but the pronunciation has not been anglicized, there being in fact no Eng. analogy which could serve as a guide. [OED]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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